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blood donor recruiting

What do you do with donors who simply do not answer the phone? Even though you contact them during what is typically the optimum time of day, some donors will not respond to phone calls.

In any 60-day period, if there have been 10 or more unsuccessful attempts to reach a donor, leave a brief, informative message.

Your organization may also consider leaving a pre-recorded message for unresponsive donors. The automated message should sound like a message from a live person. Using this option can shave 20-30 seconds off of each unanswered call.

How do you determine whether of not to leave a message?

Photo Credit: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/09/16/iphone-101-recovering-deleted-voicemails/

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As Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs), we’re always anticipating a conversation to end with an appointment to help save lives! Sometimes, however, other conversations may not end with an appointment, but as CMEs we want to end every conversation on a positive note regardless of the situation.

Ending each phone call positively sets the tone for the next interaction with the donor so that they want to continue donating in the future with the blood center. There are two ways to close a blood donor recruitment conversation:

Closing Calls That End With An Appointment

When closing a call that ends with an appointment you want to make sure to confirm every aspect of the scheduled appointment, including the date, time, location, the type of the donation, the donor’s email (to send a confirmation), and the address of the appointment. Let the donor know once again how much you appreciate their life saving donation.

Make sure the donor knows everything necessary to ensure a successful donation before their appointment, like eating a good meal, drinking plenty of fluids, and bringing a photo ID. Remember to offer SMS reminders if the program allows you to; this helps increase the chances of the donor making it to the appointment. Lastly, provide a number to call with any questions before the appointment or if the donor needs to reschedule for a different time.

Calls That Do Not End In Appointments

Donors who don’t schedule appointments should still be aware that they are appreciated for their previous donations. We still want to make the donor feel important by mentioning how much of an impact they have made with their previous blood donations. We want to let them know they may have saved up to three lives with each of their previous blood donations, and we would love for them to continue to save lives when they are able to donate blood again.

Show empathy, They may be ill, going through a difficult time, or simply having a bad day. This helps strengthen the relationship with the donor to where they continue to donate blood with the blood center whenever they are able to donate blood again. Ask for an email or verify the one listed in the donor’s profile; that way we can continue to notify the donor of future blood drives. Provide the schedule number so when the donor has availability and is able to donate they can give us a call to help find the most convenient location and date for them.

All in all, whether you end with an appointment or don’t end with an appointment you want to still end the conversation on a positive note to strengthen the relationship with the donor. Remember the last impression you make on a call is the last memory the donor has of the call. So smile, and be as polite as possible; your voice is the only avenue of communication. Make the best of it!

Photo Credit: http://businesswolf.org/pathways-to-manage-work-during-and-after-a-business-trip/

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Change Your Language

Begin thinking of what your tele-recruiters do as ”having conversations” rather than “making calls.” A call is of good quality if it’s dialed correctly. A conversation is of good quality if it engages another person and both parties learn something of value. Such conversations build strong relationships, in this case between your blood center and the donor. That’s what you’re really after.

Define Quality Standards

Measuring a conversation’s quality requires dissecting it. Standards must be objective and inviolable. Let us know if you’d like a copy of our Conversational Quality Scorecard to see how a typical donor conversation may be broken down to clearly show which specific parts of the conversation meet your quality guidelines and which specific parts need improvement to meet your quality standards.

Connect Quality Standards to Employment Policies

Quality Standards must be thoroughly integrated into your employment policies for them to have any real effect on tele-recruitment conversations and donor relationships. Promotions, pay-per-performance programs, corrective action, and similar policies must be explicitly connected to objective measures of quality.

Appoint a dedicated Conversational Quality Manager

It’s imperative that a dedicated, unbiased individual or department is responsible for monitoring tele-recruiters’ adherence to your conversational quality standards. To avoid conflicts of interest, this Conversational Quality Manager should report to a department that is not incentivized for the contact center’s results. Furthermore, whoever provides oversight of the Conversational Quality Manager should set continual improvement goals for the quality management function itself.

Separating out this function in this way has numerous benefits:

  • Bias will be eliminated
  • The quality measurement process will not become lax or soft
  • The quality measurement function won’t get triaged to other priorities

Audit Tele-recruiting Conversations

The Conversational Quality Manager’s role is to audit all tele-recruiters’ conversations on a continual basis. Avoid the temptation to only use this function to check up on tele-recruiters you suspect are slacking in their duties. Quality audits are not disciplinary tools. They are tools for continuous improvement.

Even your star tele-recruiters can incrementally improve. Even your greatest tele-recruiter needs to be held accountable for maintaining that greatness. When approached well, good tele-recruiters should look forward to seeing their quality scores and learning if and where they can improve.

Grade Tele-recruiting Conversations

As the Conversational Quality Manager listens to calls, he or she will assign point values to all items on the Conversational Quality Checklist and grade each tele-recruiter according to those criteria. We recommend grading quality performance on a 100-point scale. Nearly everyone is familiar with this format, and it provides the right amount of granularity.

The scored results from this ongoing quality audit can then be used to correct, reward and develop tele-recruiters and strengthen donor relationships in the process.

Generate a Personalized Conversational Quality Audit Report for Each Tele-recruiter

At least every two weeks, the Conversational Quality Manager creates and prints a quality audit report for each tele-recruiter. The report assigns an overall and specific performance score. It also provides narrative descriptions of performance indicators for those two weeks.

Distribute Conversational Quality Audit Reports to Supervisors

The Conversational Quality Manager distributes the personalized reports to the contact center supervisors. This supports the important accountability system that is so critical to continuous quality improvement.

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It’s not enough to hire people and trust them to consistently relate well with donors. Let’s face it, saying the same things to numerous people each day, and being turned down by a large percentage of them, can be demotivating. It can turn a very important job into a routine.

What gets measured gets done. Everything else is optional. Your people will respect what you inspect. A blood center that raises conversation quality to the highest level of importance will have tele-recruiters who gauge success by quality interactions. Without this, tele-recruiters tend to feel they’ve done good jobs just by churning the front-end numbers.

High-quality conversations benefit everyone. They strengthen your blood center’s relationships with its donors and are more fulfilling to your representatives.

Implementing the following steps will establish a culture of conversational quality in your call center and strengthen relationships with your donors:

  1. Change your language
  2. Define Quality Standards
  3. Connect Quality Standards to employment policies
  4. Appoint a dedicated Conversational Quality Manager
  5. Audit tele-recruiting conversations
  6. Grade tele-recruiting conversations
  7. Generate a personalized conversational quality audit report for each tele-recruiter
  8. Distribute conversational quality audit reports to supervisors
  9. Task supervisors with discussing audit reports with tele-recruiters

Stay tuned for our next post describing each of the above methods!

Photo Credit: http://designedtoblossom.com/walking-a-fine-line-quality-control-the-oxymoron

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As the holidays approach everyone is getting ready to decorate their homes, preparing their shopping lists, and planning their trips to visit family out of town. At this time of year, the community doesn’t realize how much their local blood centers could really use their support with blood donations.

Did you know that every two seconds someone in the United States is in need of blood? This means that the need for blood is always present. And during the holidays blood is needed even more frequently for a couple big reasons.

Reason #1: Local high schools and colleges are typically on holiday break.

Most of the blood that is collected comes from local high schools and colleges where students attend the blood drives scheduled at their campus. Typically around this time of year, students are on holiday breaks, making it a little bit more difficult for blood centers to keep their blood supplies at safe levels. This is when the blood centers depend on the community to keep their shelves stocked. Now this is only one reason as to why blood is needed most during the holidays. There are several other situations that affect blood centers all around the United States during the holidays.

Reason #2: Traveling increases and so do accidents.

Around this time of year, there are also tons of people taking trips to spend the holidays with their loved ones. This makes blood donors unavailable to donate for a certain amount of time depending on how long they will be away. It can be difficult finding time to do anything after traveling for a long period of time, with having to get settled back into normal routines and knowing how our schedules will look. However, the need for blood never ends, and this is why people should make time to pause, relax, and take an hour of their valuable time to help save up to three lives during the holidays.

As holiday traveling increases so do accidents. A single accident victim can use up to 100 units of blood, which is a significant amount of blood to substitute. Once again this raises the need for blood donations during the holidays.

This holiday season, give a gift that can help save a life. With schools being out and traveling on the rise, this time of the year increases the need for blood tremendously. So again, be a hero and take an hour to help your local blood center keep their blood supply at a safe level. Most of all, help save some lives!

Photo Credit: http://www.donateblood.com.au/category/news-tags/blood-donation-western-australia

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One in every 7 people entering a hospital needs blood whether they’ve been in a car accident, have been diagnosed with cancer, or are a premature infant. Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion, so the need for blood is constant. There are many different reasons as to why someone may need a blood transfusion and also as to why donating blood is so important. Some people think it’s nice to help the community but aren’t fully aware of the effect they’re putting forth. Others just do it because it’s what they’ve grown up with. Their parents may have been regular blood donors and just passed the tradition down to their children.

The biggest reason donating blood is important is because with every donation you can help save up to three patients’ lives. Now when you think about that, you’re spending about an hour of your time and giving so much more to others. One blood donation alone could give someone the chance to survive and live for a very long time.

For example, a pregnant woman could be arriving at a hospital to give birth but walk out having received a number of units of blood because of complications or even just a simple blood-type mismatch between her and the baby. Your blood donation could have been one that helped save that woman’s life and let her spend the rest of her time with her child.

Another reason donating blood is important is because about 38% of the population is eligible to donate yet only 8% do. The reason for this gap in numbers could be a multitude of things: busy schedules, vacations, and most importantly being misinformed about the need for blood. I know firsthand that having a busy schedule is very hard to work with when trying to schedule a blood donation. I couldn’t imagine finding the time to go, which is why I appreciate the drives held here at Incept.

Until I started working here, I had never donated before and never really thought about it. I’m a classic example because I’ve been eligible to donate and just never found the time to do it. The amount of information I learned within my two weeks of training was tremendous! And when I think back to how misinformed I was, I can’t help but share that information with the donors I speak to.

Sometimes you speak to a donor who hasn’t donated in over 6 years, and they wonder why you’re calling. As a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME), I take that opportunity to tell them the need for blood and bring back into their minds why they started donating in the first place. Donating blood is about compassion and helping others and I, myself, will definitely continue to do it for as long as I can.

Why do you donate blood?

Photo Credit: http://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/51637/Blood-recipient-makes-holiday-plea

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Not a workday should pass by without each Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) receiving coaching for blood donor recruitment in some form. Formal Coaching Sessions, Follow-Up Coaching Sessions, Positive Coaching Sessions, and Quality Audit Sessions fill this need eight days each month.

On remaining days, each tele-recruiter should receive what we call “Drive-By Coaching.” Drive-By Coaching is not as time consuming and is less structured than the rest. It consists of very brief, one-off suggestions or reinforcements related to current conversations.

Supervisors should listen carefully to their tele-recruiters’ donor conversations throughout the day. As they do, they should notice little opportunities to strengthen positive habits and/or correct poor habits and should discuss these observations with tele-recruiters as soon after the call as possible.

Drive-By Coaching In Action

The following are example Drive-By Coaching statements:

  • “That was a great second attempt, Sara! I know you didn’t get the appointment, but the second attempt was awesome. If you keep on doing it that way, you will definitely get more appointments!”
  • “Don’t forget to ask for an email address in every call, Byron. It helps us stay in touch with the donors who don’t respond well to phone calls.”
  • “I’d like to hear you emphasize key words more in your conversations. I brought a highlighter and a paper copy of the script so that you and I can highlight key words in the script for emphasis. For the next hour, I want you to focus on putting extra emphasis on those words when you say them. Practicing this will allow you to inject some highs and lows into your presentation flow and make your pitch sound more natural and interesting.”
  • “Second requests increase appointments per hour by an average of 25%. I’d like you to set a goal of at least five second-requests per hour in five separate conversations for the rest of the day. Five second-requests per hour should result in you scheduling a minimum of one additional appointment per hour today.”

These brief but meaningful encounters keep Conversational Quality top-of-mind, let your tele-recruiters know that you are always listening, and provide instant feedback for strengthening good behaviors and changing bad ones.

What do your Drive-By Coaching sessions sound like?

Photo Credit: http://www.secretan.com/coaching/

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Bonus Programs motivate our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) to practice what they learn through coaching. You may think the regular paycheck is enough to do that, and you may be right—if you relax quality standards for blood donor recruitment.

Paychecks motivate “acceptable” results that are good enough to remain employed. Bonus programs, however, justify you to continually raise quality standards since your people receive additional pay for results that are beyond “acceptable.” When understandable KPI reports are directly connected to well-designed bonuses and effective coaching, tele-recruiters know exactly what actions to take to shift their numbers and earn extra money!

Designing Your Own Bonus Program

The following are guidelines for designing your tele-recruitment bonus program:

  1. Structure your bonus program with conversation quality, integrity, and customer satisfaction at its core.
  2. Use client requirements as the minimum achievement, meaning that no bonuses can be earned until after client requirements are met.
  3. Keep your bonus program easy to explain, easy to understand, and easy to calculate.
  4. Teach tele-recruiters how to calculate their own bonuses. When they understand exactly what positively and negatively impacts their bonus pay, they will quickly figure out how to maximize their performance to get the lion’s share of that bonus.
  5. Design your bonus program to mirror the payment arrangement with your client. If your client pays you for successful blood draws, for example, don’t incent telerecruiters to merely set appointments. Otherwise, tele-recruiters will do whatever is necessary to set appointments without regard to whether those appointments will likely result in successful donations.
  6. Incorporate your bonus program into your organization’s employee training program, coaching sessions, quality control audits, daily team meetings, and any other form of regular communication with tele-recruiters. If it is obviously important to you, it will be important to your tele-recruiters. Employees respect what you inspect, and they produce results that you reward them to produce.

Getting Buy-In For Your Bonus Program

Diligently promoting your KPI reports in conjunction with quality and bonuses will help condition your representatives to actively monitor their performance numbers. The following are suggestions for promoting KPIs:

  • When you first initiate this program, hold a scavenger hunt to familiarize tele-recruiters with the location of the reports and the content they contain.
  • Hold a “game show” where tele-recruiters have to provide examples of what effect various positive and negative behaviors have on the KPIs.
  • 10 minutes before each shift begins, ask your team specific questions that can only be answered by those who studied yesterday’s reports. Give away small prizes to those who know the answers.
  • Publicly recognize tele-recruiters who know specific information when you ask them for it.
  • Highlight key players from the previous day’s results, and spotlight those representatives on the report itself for all to see.
  • Write personal notes to your tele-recruiters on the reports.

Once tele-recruiters begin to actively use and rely on KPI reports, internal friendly competition will take on a life of its own to drive improvement. As a manager or supervisor, you will be freed up to dedicate more of your time to development than to regurgitating data.

How do you promote bonuses?

Photo Credit: http://www.getreadytocoach.com/coachingwebsites-live/

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Coaching sessions can mean the difference between successful blood donor recruitment and unsuccessful blood donor recruitment. Our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) depend on Formal Coaching Sessions in order to improve and enhance their skills. These sessions should be Durable, Actionable, Straightforward, and Helpful. You may remember these using the acronym “DASH”.

  • Durable: Written records from Formal Coaching should be easy to understand—not just at the moment but also in the future. Supervisors should spell out details and avoid abbreviations. A written record is durable if a tele-recruiter can understand it 5 days after the session just as easily as during the session.
  • Actionable: The tele-recruiter must have a crystal clear understanding of how to act upon the advice received and the benefits of doing so.
  • Straightforward: The tele-recruiter should understand each word, line, instruction, and piece of advice that is offered. The supervisor must be adept at recognizing confusion and at clarifying when needed.
  • Helpful: This is not just a “feel good” meeting. The content of the discussion must be honest and useful so that the tele-recruiter can use it to score more wins.

What kinds of tools do you use in your Formal Coaching Sessions?


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Platelets are the part of your blood used to control bleeding; burn patients, trauma patients, and many surgeries require the use of platelets. When our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) are making blood donor recruitment calls, some donors question why platelet donations are so important, and there are a plethora of reasons why.

The Importance of Platelets

For instance, there aren’t as many people who have the time to donate platelets, the shelf life of platelets is shorter, and many patients will need a platelet donation while going through different types of treatments.

Platelets only have a shelf life of about 5 days, are very fragile, and need to constantly be in motion, so the need for platelet donations is an everyday concern. Although you can donate them every 7 days, some donors don’t have enough time in their schedule to go once a week. Some people have a very open schedule, while others barely have any time to come in to donate a standard whole blood donation (which takes about 45 minutes to an hour).

The Differences Between Platelet & Whole Blood Donations

For a platelet donation, it can take up to 2 hours depending on the donor. With the people who have very busy schedules, that can cut down on the amount of platelet donations we receive, therefore potentially affecting patients in need.

A lot of cancer patients, as well as transplant patients, can use up to 10 units of platelets per day. For example, a cancer patient could use 6-8 units a day for 4-6 weeks. Comparing a platelet donation to a whole blood donation, it takes 6 separated whole blood donations to equal a single platelet donation. With that being said, it would take six different people’s donations to get one unit of platelets to a patient when they can use up to 10 in one day! When someone donates a single platelet donation, it can help keep the blood supply at a safe level while reducing the exposure of multiple donors to one single patient.

Platelet donations are very important to the community and can be used to help a multitude of people. So if you can find 2 hours of your day, you can help those who have had cancer, received an organ transplant, or were involved in a traumatic accident. You can also help to keep the blood supply at a safe level.

When’s the last time you donated platelets?

Photo Credit: http://www.utahblood.org/donor-programs/platelet-donor.html

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